There are strong indications that the Chairman of Chairmen on the current board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusua, has been endorsed by the Northern caucus as the next president of the Federation.
Barring any last minute changes, the emergency general assembly of the NFF will hold in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on August 16, where the date for the NFF elections would be announced.
A source hinted yesterday that the group has commenced ‘an underground move’ to lobby other interested candidates from the north to queue behind Gusau, with the view to having a consensus candidate from the zone.
“The North caucus wants to speak in one voice, as far as this NFF election is concerned,” the source said. “We don’t want a repeat of what transpired during the election in Warri in 2014. We don’t want a divided house.”
The group has vowed to resist any attempt by the incumbent NFF president to ‘perpetuate’ himself in office, stating that Gusua is the most qualified person to take over Nigerian football.
The source said: “We did our thorough findings before we arrived at the choice of Gusau as the next NFF president. We have to put an end to this era of failed promises, which to a large extent, has resulted to failed results by our various national teams. It is sad that for eight years, the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF gave Nigerians heartbreak on the football field.
“We need a leader who cares for the welfare of players, coaches and referees. Our first meeting was held in Kano, where we decided on the choice of Gusau. We are meeting again soon before the NFF emergency general assembly in Yenagoa,” the source stated.
On the statement credited to the incumbent NFF president, Pinnick, that he has been receiving calls from influential Nigerians, as well as genuine lovers of the sport, urging him to seek another term in office, the source said: “That is laughable. No Nigerian, who really has the interest of our football at heart will tell Pinnick to seek a third term in office.”
The Guardian recalls that in an interview with People Sport in Nairobi on Monday, Pinnick, who also doubles as a member of the FIFA Council representing Anglophone countries and a member of CAF Executive Committee, stated that he has received many requests from Nigerians asking him to seek re-election.
“I had initially decided not to vie, but I have been receiving several calls from very influential Nigerians as well as genuine lovers of the sport urging me to seek another term. It is within the law and I will decide about it when the right time comes,” Pinnick said.